Run your business as usual despite coronavirus, says minister

Mohd Redzuan also reminds entrepreneurs to take care of their health and to adhere to safety procedures while conducting business operations


LOCAL entrepreneurs should carry on with business-as-usual attitude despite the novel coronavirus outbreak, said Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.

“Don’t be overly afraid about Wuhan. Personally, I don’t think it (coronavirus) is as contagious as one would think and as made viral by netizens.

“Run your business as usual,” he said in his speech during the launch of the SMEs Go Global and SME Co-Investment Partners (SCIP) programmes in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The minister also urged the public not to be afraid of the situation in Wuhan, where the virus was first detected.

He, however, reminded entrepreneurs to take care of their health and to adhere to safety procedures while conducting business operations.

As at press time, the virus has claimed 170 lives in mainland China, while over 7,711 cases have been confirmed. More than 100 cases have also been confirmed outside of China.

In Malaysia, eight positive cases have been recorded as at press time, all involving Chinese nationals, while laboratory results for five suspected cases are still pending.

Separately, the two programmes launched yesterday are intended to develop domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through assisting local entrepreneurs in gaining better funding and market access.

The SMEs Go Global programme aims to help SMEs expand into global markets and stimulate the country’s export value.

“The programme will facilitate local businesses to penetrate into the international market through advising services provided and market intelligence, as well as facilitate compliance with international standards and quality,” Mohd Redzuan said.

It will also help in raising SMEs contribution in total exports to 30% by 2030, a target outlined under the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030. Export contribution from SMEs currently stands at 17.3%.

As for SCIP, the scheme targets to increase businesses’ early stage investments with a total funding of RM15 million from SME Corp Malaysia (SME Corp).

The programme allows private investors to invest in SMEs through identified investment partners.

SME Corp CEO Noor Azmi Mat Said said he aims to have 40 programmes under the SME Go Global this year and 10 investments for SCIP.

SME Corp also sealed a memorandum of collaboration with Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia) yesterday to cooperate in instilling information and communications technology, as well as digitalisation elements into SMEs.

The collaboration will run for three years and involve transfer of technology between both companies.

Huawei Malaysia will also provide expertise and technical support for SMEs to combine innovative digital solutions in their businesses through open platforms based on artificial intelligence cloud technology.